Bible Society of South Africa

Bible Reading Plan – Day 190

Bible text(s)

King Manasseh of Judah

1Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled in Jerusalem for 55 years. His mother was Hephzibah. 2Following the disgusting practices of the nations whom the LORD had driven out of the land as his people advanced, Manasseh sinned against the LORD. 3He rebuilt the pagan places of worship that his father Hezekiah had destroyed; he built altars for the worship of Baal and made an image of the goddess Asherah, as King Ahab of Israel had done. Manasseh also worshipped the stars. 4He built pagan altars in the Temple, the place that the LORD had said was where he should be worshipped. 5In the two courtyards of the Temple he built altars for the worship of the stars. 6He sacrificed his son as a burnt offering. He practised divination and magic and consulted fortune tellers and mediums. He sinned greatly against the LORD and stirred up his anger. 7He placed the symbol of the goddess Asherah in the Temple, the place about which the LORD had said to David and his son Solomon: “Here in Jerusalem, in this Temple, is the place that I have chosen out of all the territory of the twelve tribes of Israel as the place where I am to be worshipped. 8And if the people of Israel will obey all my commands and keep the whole Law that my servant Moses gave them, then I will not allow them to be driven out of the land that I gave to their ancestors.” 9But the people of Judah did not obey the LORD, and Manasseh led them to commit even greater sins than those committed by the nations whom the LORD had driven out of the land as his people advanced.

10Through his servants the prophets the LORD said, 11“King Manasseh has done these disgusting things, things far worse than what the Canaanites did; and with his idols he has led the people of Judah into sin. 12So I, the LORD God of Israel, will bring such a disaster on Jerusalem and Judah that everyone who hears about it will be stunned. 13I will punish Jerusalem as I did Samaria, as I did King Ahab of Israel and his descendants. I will wipe Jerusalem clean of its people, as clean as a plate that has been wiped and turned upside down. 14I will abandon the people who survive, and will hand them over to their enemies, who will conquer them and plunder their land. 15I will do this to my people because they have sinned against me and have stirred up my anger from the time their ancestors came out of Egypt to this day.”

16Manasseh killed so many innocent people that the streets of Jerusalem were flowing with blood; he did this in addition to leading the people of Judah into idolatry, causing them to sin against the LORD.

17Everything else that Manasseh did, including the sins he committed, is recorded in The History of the Kings of Judah. 18Manasseh died and was buried in the palace garden, the garden of Uzza, and his son Amon succeeded him as king.

King Amon of Judah

19Amon was 22 years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled in Jerusalem for two years. His mother was Meshullemeth, the daughter of Haruz, from the town of Jotbah. 20Like his father Manasseh, he sinned against the LORD; 21he imitated his father's actions, and he worshipped the idols that his father had worshipped. 22He rejected the LORD, the God of his ancestors, and disobeyed the LORD's commands.

23Amon's officials plotted against him and assassinated him in the palace. 24The people of Judah killed Amon's assassins and made his son Josiah king.

25Everything else that Amon did is recorded in The History of the Kings of Judah. 26Amon was buried in the tomb in the garden of Uzza, and his son Josiah succeeded him as king.

2 Kings 21:1-26GNBOpen in Bible reader

King Manasseh of Judah

1Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled in Jerusalem for 55 years. 2Following the disgusting practices of the nations whom the LORD had driven out of the land as his people advanced, Manasseh sinned against the LORD. 3He rebuilt the pagan places of worship that his father Hezekiah had destroyed. He built altars for the worship of Baal, made images of the goddess Asherah, and worshipped the stars. 4He built pagan altars in the Temple, the place that the LORD had said was where he should be worshipped for ever. 5In the two courtyards of the Temple he built altars for the worship of the stars. 6He sacrificed his sons in the Valley of Hinnom as burnt offerings. He practised divination and magic and consulted fortune tellers and mediums. He sinned greatly against the LORD and stirred up his anger. 7He placed an image in the Temple, the place about which God had said to David and his son Solomon: “Here in Jerusalem, in this Temple, is the place that I have chosen out of all the territory of the twelve tribes of Israel as the place where I am to be worshipped. 8And if the people of Israel will obey all my commands and keep the whole Law that my servant Moses gave them, then I will not allow them to be driven out of the land that I gave to their ancestors.” 9Manasseh led the people of Judah to commit even greater sins than those committed by the nations whom the LORD had driven out of the land as his people advanced.

Manasseh Repents

10Although the LORD warned Manasseh and his people, they refused to listen. 11So the LORD let the commanders of the Assyrian army invade Judah. They captured Manasseh, stuck hooks in him, put him in chains, and took him to Babylon. 12In his suffering he became humble, turned to the LORD his God, and begged him for help. 13God accepted Manasseh's prayer and answered it by letting him go back to Jerusalem and rule again. This convinced Manasseh that the LORD was God.

14After this, Manasseh increased the height of the outer wall on the east side of David's City, from a point in the valley near the spring of Gihon north to the Fish Gate and the area of the city called Ophel. He also stationed an army officer in command of a unit of troops in each of the fortified cities of Judah. 15He removed from the Temple the foreign gods and the image that he had placed there, and the pagan altars that were on the hill where the Temple stood and in other places in Jerusalem; he took all these things outside the city and threw them away. 16He also repaired the altar where the LORD was worshipped, and he sacrificed fellowship offerings and thanksgiving offerings on it. He commanded all the people of Judah to worship the LORD, the God of Israel. 17Although the people continued to offer sacrifices at other places of worship, they offered them only to the LORD.

The End of Manasseh's Reign

18Everything else that Manasseh did, the prayer he made to his God, and the messages of the prophets who spoke to him in the name of the LORD, the God of Israel, are all recorded in The History of the Kings of Israel. 19The king's prayer and God's answer to it, and an account of the sins he committed before he repented — the evil he did, the pagan places of worship and the symbols of the goddess Asherah that he made and the idols that he worshipped — are all recorded in The History of the Prophets. 20Manasseh died and was buried at the palace, and his son Amon succeeded him as king.

King Amon of Judah

21Amon was 22 years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled in Jerusalem for two years. 22Like his father Manasseh, he sinned against the LORD, and he worshipped the idols that his father had worshipped. 23But unlike his father, he did not become humble and turn to the LORD; he was even more sinful than his father had been.

24Amon's officials plotted against him and assassinated him in the palace. 25The people of Judah killed Amon's assassins and made his son Josiah king.

King Josiah of Judah

1Josiah was eight years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled in Jerusalem for 31 years. 2He did what was pleasing to the LORD; he followed the example of his ancestor King David, strictly obeying all the laws of God.

Josiah Attacks Pagan Worship

3In the eighth year that Josiah was king, while he was still very young, he began to worship the God of his ancestor King David. Four years later he began to destroy the pagan places of worship, the symbols of the goddess Asherah, and all the other idols. 4Under his direction the altars where Baal was worshipped were smashed, and the incense altars near them were torn down. They ground to dust the images of Asherah and all the other idols and then scattered the dust on the graves of the people who had sacrificed to them. 5He burnt the bones of the pagan priests on the altars where they had worshipped. By doing all this, he made Judah and Jerusalem ritually clean again. 6He did the same thing in the cities and the devastated areas of Manasseh, Ephraim, and Simeon, and as far north as Naphtali. 7Throughout the territory of the Northern Kingdom he smashed the altars and the symbols of Asherah, ground the idols to dust, and broke in pieces all the incense altars. Then he returned to Jerusalem.

The Book of the Law is Discovered

8In the eighteenth year of his reign, after he had purified the land and the Temple by ending pagan worship, King Josiah sent three men to repair the Temple of the LORD God: Shaphan son of Azaliah, Maaseiah, the governor of Jerusalem, and Joah son of Joahaz, a high official. 9The money that the Levite guards had collected in the Temple was handed over to Hilkiah the High Priest. (It had been collected from the people of Ephraim and Manasseh and the rest of the Northern Kingdom, and from the people of Judah, Benjamin, and Jerusalem.) 10This money was then handed over to the three men in charge of the temple repairs, and they gave it to 11the carpenters and the builders to buy the stones and the timber used to repair the buildings that the kings of Judah had allowed to decay. 12The men who did the work were thoroughly honest. They were supervised by four Levites: Jahath and Obadiah of the clan of Merari, and Zechariah and Meshullam of the clan of Kohath. (The Levites were all skilful musicians.) 13Other Levites were in charge of transporting materials and supervising the workmen on various jobs, and others kept records or served as guards.

2 Chronicles 33:1-34:13GNBOpen in Bible reader
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